Headlines surround me with the enticing message of how to get rich. Those same headlines say, to be happy I need the newest and best “stuff”. I am tempted to focus my admiration on people who are richer than me. Most people think of someone as rich if they make double what they do. It’s called the Doubling Up Wealth Theory. If we make $30,000 we think someone who makes $60,000 is rich.
But who is really rich?
We spend so many years trying to get rich but we rarely realize how rich we already are. On a worldwide scale, we ARE rich.
The statistics are staggering. More than half the world’s population lives on less than $2 per day.Go to Global Rich List and insert your family income. If you earn more than $30,000, you’re in the top 2% of all individuals in the world. If you earn more than $40,000, you’re in the top 1%. To poor people in the rest of the world, anyone from the west is “rich.” Bill Gates or you.
Once we realize we’re rich, where do we learn how to be rich?
Why don’t we act rich, and why aren’t we more generous? Sadly, the individual mean charitable donation for Canadian tax filers is $260. And, only 23% of Canadians claimed charitable donations of any kind. Comparable stats for Americans look at households. In the U.S., the mean was $870 and 65% of households made a charitable donation.
Feeling rich isn’t about income. It’s about margin – that difference between what you have and what you need. Most people don’t feel rich because they don’t have that margin. When they earn more they just spend more. Think about what you have and what you need – when you have extra, you are rich!
The best resource I know, that helped me realize this and guide me towards greater generosity with my wealth is How To Be Rich by Andy Stanley.
God knew we would wrestle with this. The apostle Paul, in a letter to his apprentice Timothy, wrote in 1 Timothy 6:17-19. “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
Next time you’re thinking of how to get rich, think of The Global Rich List because you already are rich. How to get rich needs to be replaced with the mentality of how to be rich and act more generously. Awareness is the first step towards becoming more generous.
I used to think I was a generous person until I listened to this podcast and read the stats. Imagine if you could truly grasp how rich you already are and take steps to be rich….by a new measure.
Attitude: Be humble.
Action: Admit you are rich on a worldwide scale
Question: Would you consider giving more to charity this year?
Recommended Resource: Stanley, Andy. How to Be Rich [downloadable MP3 format]. Only $1.00.